Despite the gawd-awful lighting quality that's evident in the video below, it surprisingly remains one of the more popular videos on my YouTube channel.
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In a future post I'll have more to say about why I think the video does relatively well viewership-wise, but suffice to say that the topic of YouTube annotations seems to be of keen interest to a lot of folks. And, lately, one of the frequently asked questions has been how I'm able to make annotations inside my YouTube videos link out to my personal website?
The quick answer is the YouTube Partner program.
The YouTube Partner Program Isn't Just For Demigods Anymore
It used to be the case that in order to be a YouTube partner, you first had to have a crap-load of videos and video-views. It was the stuff of celebrities, businesses, publishing houses and demigods. But no longer.
To be sure, there are a few hoops to jump through. But, they're pretty light hoops that don't really require a lot of technical skills and, once hurdled, allows you a host of useful YouTube partner features, including:
- Custom thumbnails
- Live streaming Google+ hangouts
- and, yes, linking YouTube video annotations to your own website
Once in the YouTube Partner program, one of the options you'll see in the Add Annotations window is a picklist item for Associated Website. While the video above doesn't show the Associated Website option (since the video pre-dates this feature in YouTube), the snapshot on the right shows the option to choose as a modification to the steps I show at about the 3:50 point in the video above.
The snapshot on the right also shows some of the other redirect options you have available, as well, when you associate a URL to one of your YouTube video annotations.
Should You Activate Your YouTube Channel For the YouTube Partner Program?
If you haven't activated your YouTube channel yet for the YouTube Partner program, then I highly recommend you do it as soon as possible. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and it'll do you well to leverage that engine for genuinely compelling video "hooks" that can redirect some of that search activity to your personal website.
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